Montauk Community Notes, July 25


On Sunday, the heat wave here in Montauk finally broke. Last week’s lack of rain made me consider watering the vegetable garden. It’s work to pull the long, heavy hose down to the garden. Typically, I don’t water until absolutely necessary. Call it tough love for plants. I felt sad as I cleared out the depleted pea vines on Sunday. It seemed I was yanking out the last vestige of this year’s beautiful spring. In the vacant spot: pole beans.

Belated good wishes to my boss, Lynden Restrepo, who celebrated her birthday on July 18. Daughter Deja was home from Quinnipiac University for mom’s birthday weekend and looked fabulous when she stopped in at the office on Saturday.

My brother, Paul Melnyk, sang “Panis Angelicus” during the offering at Montauk Community Church on Sunday. The title of this sacred music, written by Cesar Franck in 1872, means bread of angels. I hold my breath while my brother sings, though no need. He hit every note. Afterward, he kindly offered to perhaps sing a duet with me later this summer.

Paul dropped me off at home after church, where we spotted a small crowd gathered in front of my neighbors’ yard. Eight puppies lolled about behind the split rail and wire fencing. I’m told this year’s litter totals 12, and I’m guessing they’re just over a month old. At the fence I found Gerry O’Brien and daughter, Aoife, admiring the pups. Aoife hopes to study medicine and just finished her freshman year at SUNY Geneseo. She’s working at Gosman’s this summer as well as volunteering at Southampton Hospital. I’ve heard so much about Aoife, so it’s a pleasure to have finally met this impressive young woman in person.

Give your kids a true educational head start by bringing them to Montauk Library’s free summer programs for children.

Children’s librarian Julie Anne Korpi recommends “Dig Into Clay” with Joyce Raimondo, for children in kindergarten through sixth grade on Friday from 4 to 4:45 p.m. Kids will discover how famous artists transform earth into art and next create creatures out of self-hardening clay and other natural objects found in the earth; rocks, pebbles, shells, twigs, and more. They’re invited to stay for “Go Green” at 5 p.m. Also for kindergarten through sixth grade, “Go Green” ends at 5:45 p.m. Create art from recycled materials!

For small-fry, Child and Grown-up Book Chat for children in kindergarten through third grade is this Friday, July 26, and every Friday through August 9, from 11:30 a.m. to noon. Parents and caregivers read with children and discuss books. Books can be checked out a few days ahead by Montauk Library cardholders and are available the day of program, too.

Monday Storytimes are at 10 a.m. Children get to listen to stories, sing songs, and make crafts. Younger tots welcome just to listen. The crafts are most appropriate for preschool-age children.

You can sign up for the children’s email list for program reminders and updates. Visitors and walk-ins are always welcome.

Also at Montauk Library, “From Jazz to Soul: Part II,” Jazz standards and Soul classics, a free concert, is tonight, Wednesday July 24, at 7:30 p.m. Vocalist Rhonda Denét returns to Montauk Library with the Silver Fox Songs Trio to perform more jazz standards and soul classics from the ’30s through the ’60s.

Ms. Denét’s repertoire includes more than 200 songs and spans many music genres including jazz, soul, R&B, blues, gospel, pop, and rock. Her Silver Fox Songs Series is designed to please those old enough to remember the great songs of their youth and enlighten younger audiences about the great songs and singers of the past.

Ms. Denét, a Washington, D.C. native, knew the performing arts would be a guiding force in her life and she began by studying flute and piano. By age 11 voice became her primary focus. She moved to New York where she earned a Bachelor of Music in vocal performance from New York University. Ms. Denét continued her education and earned a graduate degree in arts administration from Florida State University’s School of Music and has subsequently returned to live in New York City.

The Friends of the Montauk Library presents “Modern Tide: Midcentury Architecture on Long Island,” a documentary by director Jake Gorst on Saturday, July 27, at 7 p.m. at the library. Refreshments will be served. Mr. Gorst highlights some of the East End’s best midcentury modern architecture, often underappreciated. The work of architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Marcel Breuer, Philip Johnson and Charles Gwathmey, among others, will be included in the film.

Also at the library, Wednesday, July 31, at 7:30 p.m., the veritable “Queen of Cool,” jazz pianist and vocalist Janice Friedman performs favorites from the American song book plus a handful of Brazilian tunes, pop songs from the ’60s and ’70s and originals by Ms. Friedman herself, all sung with style and panache. Surprising, energetic and dynamic… “[her] piano playing carries the aura and variety of a big band,” according to New York Times jazz critic John Wilson.

Sunday, August 4, at 3:30 p.m. author Rose Marie Dunphy reads from her novel, “Orange Peels and Cobblestones,” and will discuss what compelled her to write this tale of abandonment, adoption, adaptation and forgiveness.

The Montauk Library is located at 871 Montauk Highway. For more information on library programs, please call 668-3377. These programs are all free and open to the public.

The second event in the Montauk Playhouse Community Center Foundation’s FamilyFest Series is this Thursday, July 25, at 7 p.m. “Peter and the Wolf” is a FamilyFest tradition. The theatrical performance of Sergei Prokofiev’s beloved symphonic tale is presented in collaboration with the Hamptons Ballet Theater School and the Hamptons Festival Orchestra. Each of the story’s characters is represented by a musical instrument and theme, with the story spoken by guest narrator Susan Galardi. Ms. Galardi is a local professional actor, singer and writer who has given workshops for children at the Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor.

“Peter and the Wolf” is sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of East Hampton and underwritten by the charter catamaran Mon Tiki. Tickets are $15 per person, available for purchase online at, by phone at 668-1124, at Willow gift store in the village, and at the door.

The fifth annual Montauk Ocean Swim Challenge is this Saturday, July 27, with three distance categories for swimmers of all ages and abilities. Beginners can sign up for a quick half-mile swim, more experienced swimmers register for the one-mile swim, and the adventurous can tackle the two-mile swim. Each distance swim will have separate youth and adult divisions. Swimmer check-in and same-day registration opens at 6 a.m. at the Kirk Park beach parking lot, just west of Montauk IGA.

Swim start times and locations are: 2-mile begins at Kirk Beach at 7:30 a.m.;

1-mile begins at Atlantic Terrace after 2-milers pass; 1/2-mile begins at the cliffs at Ditch Plain beach after all other racers pass. All races end near the main parking lot at Ditch Plain beach.

Registration prices are $25 for youth ($30 on the day of the race) $35 adults ($40 day of race); registration price includes swim cap, T-shirt and post-race breakfast. Participants can register in advance, online at (keyword Montauk Swim).

The Montauk Ocean Swim Challenge is organized by the East Hampton Volunteer Ocean Rescue Squad. Proceeds from the Montauk Ocean Swim benefit the future Aquatics Center at the Montauk Playhouse Community Center. For more information, call (631) 668-1124 or e-mail

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